4865 Cordell Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814
Neighborhood: Bethesda/Glen Echo
Cuisines: Modern, American
Open Monday through Thursday 5 to 10; Friday and Saturday 5 to 11
Nearby Metro Stops: Bethesda
Price Range: Expensive
Dress: Upscale Casual
Noise Level: Chatty
Roasted piquillo pepper with goat cheese; fried oysters in beurre blanc; smoked trout with pears and crème fraîche; mushroom fricassee; calamari with chorizo and lemon; lobster in caramel sauce; roasted balsamic chicken; grilled quail; braised short ribs;
THE SCENE. A little bit of Napa comes to Bethesda in this airy wine bar/bistro done in pale woods with hits of plum and burgundy. In fair weather the front windows open to the street. When cold winds blow, it's cozy inside at the wine bar and in the intimate dining room. Popular with longtime oenophiles as well as the young and trendy.
WHAT YOU'LL LOVE. The anything-goes menu of beginnings, middles, and ends. Wines also can be had every which way--by the glass, in flights, half pours, half bottles, and bottles.
WHAT YOU WON'T. Chef Jeff Heineman's approach to comfort cuisine--i.e., seasonally based dishes and a penchant for toying with flavors--means some plates might not be ready for prime time.
BEST DISHES. Steamed mussels with tomatoes, garlic, and wine; crunchy cornmeal-fried oysters with bacon beurre blanc; goat-cheese mousse with hazelnuts; braised veal cheeks, lent a jolt of sweetness from grapes and balsamic vinegar; fried chicken and waffles with a sherry-vinegar bourbon sauce standing in for maple syrup; autumnal pumpkin panna cotta.